This has always been a tough question for parents to answer. But, I would say to wait until they ask. The idea is to be a parent that pulls their children in, and never pushes. Many times, when a parent becomes a parent that pushes, it will backfire on them.
Take this scenario for example. You are out, driving around, the kids see a fast food place. They say to their parents, “Mom, can we go in. Get something to eat?” The parents usually come back with, “What? Do I have ATM written across my forehead?” This happens more then you think. The reason the kids feel this way, their parents have been poking and pushing them, since the age of two or three. A simple resolution to this, equate things with a piggy bank. Let your kids know the piggy banks are a little low. They will remain that way, until mommy or daddy get their paychecks. This makes it easier for the kids to understand.
WHAT ABOUT EXPENSIVE THING
Let’s be honest, this subject is going to come up. Just because you are the mom, doesn’t mean you have to buy everything the kids want. This a big misconception amongst parents. This happens a lot with clothing, electronics and other types of gear. The problem with parents, they don’t have enough confidence in themselves. Parents have it in their heads, their kids will only listen to their friend. They have it in their heads, their kids will only listen to social media.
What parents need to understand about this subject, they both need to be on board. Mommy can’t be telling the kids no, about an expensive item, and the dad tells them yes. Both have to be on board. If they are both on board, then the kids will listen more. Another thing, mommy and daddy need to tell them this, at a very young age. The younger the better. But, it needs to be a “no” with a reason. You can’t just tell them no, just out of spite.
Telling them “no” for a reason works in the following situations:
1) I will not spend money on a new game boy, because you, already, have one that works fine.
2) No, I will not spend money on those jeans. We won’t have enough money for the other school supplies, you need later.
3) No, Charlie, you don’t need another phone. I don’t care if it doesn’t have the newest upgrades. The one you have, already, works fine.
Kids need to be told a reason behind your decision making, with the money. They may not agree with it, but, they will understand later. Kids need to be taught about money early on. Because, when it’s your pocketbook, they don’t mind spending the money. When it’s theirs, it’s a different story. If they learn about having partial stake in the spending, they will begin to sing a different tune.